News Desk |
Pakistan’s first social media celebrity Qandeel Baloch is posthumously on the verge of losing the legal battle against her brothers, who had allegedly murdered her in the name of honor, as her parents have pardoned their sons.
Parents of Fouzia Azeem – better known as Qandeel Baloch and famous for her risqué videos – have submitted on Wednesday an affidavit in a Multan court, saying they have forgiven the killers and the case against their sons should be thrown out.
Baloch’s brother Waseem had strangled her to death for ‘honor’ at their house in 2016. He later confessed to have killed her because she allegedly “brought dishonor to the Baloch name” with her risqué videos and statements posted on social media. Her brother Aslam Shaheen was also nominated in the case.
Pakistan’s first celebrity-by-social media, Qandeel Baloch, was known for the videos and photographs she posted on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
In the affidavit, Baloch’s parents stated that they have forgiven her alleged murderers and asked the court to acquit them. About the Anti-Honor Killing Laws (Criminal Amendment Bill) 2015 — which prevents killers from walking free after being pardoned by the victim’s family — they said the law cannot be applied to the case as it was passed months after Baloch was murdered.
The law mandates life imprisonment for honor killings but it only judge’s discretion if he/she rules that a murder can be defined as a crime of honor or not. The affidavit also said that the allegations that Baloch was killed for ‘honor’ were contrary to facts.
The victim’s parents had once before also requested the court to wrap up the murder case, Dawn reported, saying they had forgiven both their sons, but their appeal was dismissed by the judge citing the anti-honor killing law.
— Nighat Dad (@nighatdad) July 15, 2019
After the law was passed in October 2016, Baloch’s parents had initially vowed not to forgive the alleged murderers. “There is no pardon from our side,” Baloch’s father Mohammad Azeem had told AFP and called for his son and the three co-accused to be punished “at the earliest”. “They should get life imprisonment or death — I will feel happy,” he said at the time.
The Sensational Life & Death of Qandeel Baloch
Sanam Maher, who authored a book ‘The Sensational Life & Death of Qandeel Baloch’, wrote for Guardian that her risque videos blazed a trail for viral fame in Pakistan but the price she paid for popularity was death.
— Sanam Maher (@SanamMKhi) May 24, 2018
“Pakistan’s first celebrity-by-social media, Qandeel Baloch, was known for the videos and photographs she posted on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Her videos were a mixed bag – she had a headache; she was bored; she had a song stuck in her head – and for a few seconds every day, thousands watched her coo or feign annoyance or try on a new dress,” she wrote.
“The videos were mostly made at night, when Qandeel said she couldn’t sleep. And then, they became more risque – by Pakistan’s standards, at least,” she added.